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Hartford in the Gilded Age: 1870 - 1900

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  • Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)
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  • Isabella Hooker (1822 - 1907)
    Author, leader of suffrage movement, member of Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame Isabella Beecher Hooker was born on February 22, 1822 in Litchfield, Connecticut to the abolitionist Rev. Lyman Beecher...

"Of all the beautiful towns it has been my fortune to see, this is the chief. ... You do not know what beauty is if you have not been here." -- Mark Twain on Hartford, 1868

In his 1873 novel The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today, Hartford resident Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) coined the term for the late 19th C. period of incredible wealth associated with the rise of white-collar employment, executive leadership, and other spoils of industrialism.

The most affluent city in America during this time was not one of the major metropolises like New York, Chicago, or Philadelphia, but rather Hartford, Connecticut -- comparatively small, but dominated by insurance companies, bankers, major manufacturers, publishing houses, Yankee blue-bloods, and cultural elites. Hartford published more books than any other city, was (and is) the capital of the insurance industry, sent its students to the finest universities, held more patents than anywhere else, and was home to some of the most famously upper-crust families in America -- the Stowes, Beechers, Morgans, Colts, Popes, Days, and more.

This project is for those who helped make Hartford the financial and cultural capital of its heyday.

Please add: Major business and government figures; authors, actors, and artists; the inventors and industrialists; prominent socialites; and everyone else who kept the city running in its own gilded way. As with most historical eras, the timeframe is a rough guideline.

Academics & Educators

Artists & Authors

Note: Most "creatives" of this period lived in Nook Farm.

Financiers & Executives

Inventors & Industrialists





Social Reformers

And the rest...

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